March 26th, 2010 @ 01:28

After migrating a bunch of stuff from one (about to expire) server which ran lenny to a new one running squeeze, a friend’s blog, which is powered by Dotclear, appeared heavily broken. His posts appeared empty, though they were still there and the titles were right, but nothing else (no url, no author, no date, no content). After a little bit of investigation, I figured that the problem was that squeeze is running PHP 5.3, and that my friend’s version of Dotclear obviously didn’t support it. Checked the Dotclear website, found out that since PHP 5.3 support is planned for the upcoming Dotclear 2.2, the latest version (Dotclear 2.1.6 — which my friend already had, actually) did not support it. Checked the PHP website to find the 5.3 release date : 30 June 2009. Wow.

Looked a little deeper in the Dotclear forums, and I found a patch which is actually a workaround for the problem. This workaround has been available since the 20th of July, 2009, and the Dotclear developers won’t include it even in the 2.1 branch because it’s a workaround and not a real fix :

Le patch n’est pas appliqué parce que, tu le dis toi-même, c’est une rustine. Ça peut paraître vieux jeu, mais nous préférons garder un code propre et régler les problèmes correctement.

Which translates to “The patch hasn’t been applied because it’s only a workaround. It might sound overaged, but we’d rather keep a clean code and fix the problems correctly”. Well, it sounds like a great plan, which would be fine if it did not took them ages to produce that clean code :) (arguably, since the patch is easily available, my point might is pretty much void, but still, it’s not official — the average user grabbing the latest official release and installing it on their hosting which provides php 5.3 might easily get confused).